Peugeot To Re-enter India: 4 Possible Car Models
To sell locally-produced cars by the end of this decade, through a JV with CK Birla Group.
I love Peugeot brand of cars. They are wonderfully weird in terms of design and styling, given the French flair of elegance, solid built, and superior engineering. The 309 sedan from the bygone past is still my favorite; whenever I spot one on road, I either take a moment to relish the car or chase it up on road! The car stands testimony to its excellent reliability and engineering that it still rocks the road even after two and half decades.
Now with an official announcement, we can trust that the PSA Group consisting of Peugeot, Citroen, and DS marques is here to stay for a serious business, unlike their last attempt in 2011. The Peugeot brand is to be resurrected first, in all probability. Neither the upmarket Citroen nor the hyper-premium DS brands are likely to join the market anytime soon. The strategy for the PSA group is “one new car, per region, per brand and per year”, which means that a region-specific, locally-assembled, affordable model will be in place by 2020. The company is making a INR 700 crore investment on a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, which is said to produce 100,000 vehicles per year initially.
PSA Group may also bring few other models from its global line-up that are designed for emerging markets like ours, perfectly suiting local buyer trends. Here are four such cars with higher propensity to hit popular segments of our market.
#1. Peugeot 208
The 208 is a funky sub-4 metre hatchback that sits perfectly in the premium hatchback segment in India, taking on Hyundai Elite i20, Maruti Suzuki Baleno, and Honda Jazz. Powered by three-cylinder petrol and four-cylinder diesel engines, this 5-door car will be highly equipped and localised once launched.
#2. Peugeot 301/ Citroen C-Elysée
A Honda City, Maruti Ciaz-rival, the 301 sedan is based on the same PSA PF1 platform as the 208 hatch. A mix of engines from the 208 range with more power and automatic gearbox options may be offered, while the interior space and equipment list are likely to be its strengths. The company may either bring the current generation car with region-specific ambitions, or bet on the next-generation model that will be ready by 2020.
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#3. Peugeot 2008
How can a new brand succeed in India without crossovers? A compact SUV in the INR 10 lakhs price range is an ideal place to start. Sharing the platform with the aforementioned cars, the 2008 is a funky urbane crossover with lot of interior space and ride height. It can take on the ridiculously popular cars right now, like Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Creta, and Renault Duster.
#4. Peugeot 3008 SUV
Larger than 2008 in dimensions, this urban lifestyle SUV is a design statement with loads of high-tech features including ‘i-cockpit’ digital instrumentation. It features 1.6-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines internationally, along with a 6-speed auto gearbox option. If and when introduced, the 3008 is likely to serve at the premium end of the compact SUV segment, rivaling Hyundai Tuscon, Tata Hexa, and others.